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TUF 20 results and recap for Ep. 12: Carla Esparza vs. Jessica Penne and Rose Namajunas vs. Randa Markos

FOX Sports

The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 20 was back on FOX Sports 1 last night (Weds., Dec. 10, 2014) as the semifinal fights determined the finalists on episode 12 with No. 1-ranked Carla Esparza (Team Pettis) taking on No. 4-ranked Jessica Penne (also Team Pettis).

In addition, No. 7-ranked Rose Namajunas (Team Melendez) battled No. 14-ranked Randa Markos (Team Pettis) for a spot in TUF 20 live finale, which takes place this Friday night (Dec. 12) at Palms Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada (more on that line up here).

With two fights in one episode, there was very little filler -- plus it's the final episode so drama is irrelevant at this point -- which means we get a quick preview of how Carla Esparza and Jessica Penne fought their way into the semifinals, which are about to get underway.

Carla Esparza (Team Pettis) vs. Jessica Penne (Team Pettis):

Round 1: Esparza opens up with her hands and has early success. Penne trying to find her range but eats shots in the interim. Penne paws the jab and gets blasted. Carla in control early. Penne wading in slowly and taking punishment each time. No takedown attempts yet from Esparza and why bother, she's controlling the stand up. As I type that she shoots and gets the takedown but Penne is right back to her feet, then gets hammered. Penne gets yelled at by her corner: "You have to throw more than one punch!" Body shot by Esparza. 20 seconds left and Esparza seals the round with a big takedown. Penne gets up but it doesn't matter. She got worked.

Round 2: Esparza picking up right where she left off. Two big right hands and a powerful leg kick. Penne pops her with a left. Esparza's right eye gets puffy and Penne tries to capitalize on it to no avail. Penne's corner calling for more offense and they do a quick bar-fight exchange. Esparza taking more damage this round but still out-landing Penne 3-to-1. Carla throws in a takedown for good measure. Back on the feet and Penne succumbs to another takedown. Esparza hanging out in guard for a hot minute and the referee stands them up. One minute left and Penne showing a sense of urgency. Unfortunately she's not doing any damage and just eating punches as Esparza darts in and out.

Round 3: Esparza comes out aggressive and Penne trying to walk her down. Penne having more success with the jab but her issue isn't accuracy at this point, it's volume. She is clearly down two rounds and not trying to finish the fight. Not sure I understand that mentality considering what's on the line. Esparza lands two heavy shots to the face. Penne looks content to spar like she's in training. Penne finally clinches and they go to the fence but nothing comes of it and they go back to the center of the cage to throw hands. Esparza's eye is closing up but it probably doesn't matter at this point. Penne's corner yelling at her to let her hands go. She ignores them. Clean sweep for the former Invicta champ with a takedown at the bell.

Final result: Carla Esparza def. Jessica Penne via unanimous decision:

After the fight, UFC President Dana White calls it a "clinic." Coach Anthony Pettis tries to sell it as a competitive contest, but it wasn't. White says to Penne, "Good fight, honey." Esparza runs over to Felice Herrig and they celebrate with an embrace.

Sorry, no time for reflection, we still have work to do.

Like the first fight, we get a quick look back and what each competitor did to get this far. The difference between Namajunas and the other contestants -- Markos included -- is that she finished both of her opponents prior to the semifinals.

Based on these comments (and the fact that we only have 10 minutes left in the show), I'd say she pulls off the hat trick.

Rose Namajunas (Team Melendez) vs. Randa Markos (Team Pettis):

Round 1: 30 seconds of bobbing and weaving before Markos goes charging in with punches. Rose returns fire and they clinch up and go to the cage. Rose with the takedown and they struggle for position. Lots of crazy wrestling and position changes. Markos reverses and gets on top and Rose locks in a nasty kimura. Referee tells her to "work" lol shut up dude ... two seconds later the fight is over.

Final result: Rose Namajunas def. Randa Markos via submission

There you have it. Carla Esparza will fight Rose Namajunas for the promotion's inaugural strawweight title at TUF 20 Finale this Friday (Dec. 12, 2014) at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada (see the full line up here).

Early predictions?

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